I think about Mother's Day in a multitude of different ways. But one way I think about it is as a celebration of the females in our lives that have shaped our minds and hearts in ways we cannot imagine. I thought about naming names and giving shoutouts, but this year there have been too many.

So, to all of the female role models who've shown me strength, courage, and hope...this one is for you.

You are such a bright light. Every time I am having a bad day, you are there without question. My life would be so different without your pushing me to study and continue fighting through things. It's safe to say that you've made a home for me no matter where I may be.

BUT PHEW. If I ever need a real talk or a SWIFT kick, you're always there to provide it. You've shown me different parts of myself that I have never believed were worthy. I remind myself that even if I believe I'm not worthy, you do. That's enough to keep me until the next day.

You're such an incredible human being and out of everything that we've encountered, it amazes me that you're still here for me. It's really surprising to me, but it has taught me that care is loyalty and loyalty is you. You're who I feel like I can count on in my life and to have that is a gift I never expected to receive. I never thought I deserved anything like that. But you've taught me that I've deserved everything I've received and that I can do anything I want to do.

Out of every bad day, I channel my inner "you" (insert name). Depending on whether I need to be real, strong, fearless, and/or straight up badass, the only way I learned how is to through knowing you.

Most of you I've only known for the past couple of years. But I've learned that it doesn't take time to make an impact. All it takes is care. I know that on any given day, I can call on one of you to serve as a reminder of who you all know I can be. That's special to me.

Some days I think to myself that I could never be a good mother or a good woman in general. I think that I will never have kids because I just don't know how to be a role model. I think that I will let every man walk over me and hurt me like most have thus far. I think I should give up.

But then I remember one little thing: because you did, I can too.

You may think that you need some big accomplishment or some proof that you deserve to be a role model for anyone, but you don't. You could have what you have now OR you could have nothing at all, and yet I would still see you as the superwoman I do now.

Thank you for proving to me that roses can be grown from cracks in the concrete. Thank you for proving to me that I am worthy of someone else caring about me, mentoring me, and cheering for me through all of my fuckups and successes.

I'm sorry if I upset you sometimes. As you know, pushing people away is in my top three most enjoyable activities. But you are still there. We may not always agree, but I know you have my best interest in heart and that you can see things for me that I can't see.

From a young woman herself who has been lost on a path of twists and turns, thank you for serving as a "safe place" where I don't have to be someone I'm not. Thank you for being who you are and for allowing me the same opportunity.

Maya Angelou said it herself:

"I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me."

Thank you for being phenomenal women and for showing me what it's like to be one myself. There will never be enough gratitude to express how much it's meant to me.

Bri